Living Room

Window woes (someone needs new curtains) (me!) (and new baseboards) (but that’s another story)

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Living Room | 2 comments

You know how when you move into a new house, and the previous owners have left the existing curtains, and they’re ok for the time being (because, really, who has the time or money to buy all new curtains immediately upon moving into a new house), and you say “oh, I’ll change them soon”, but then three months later you’re still living with the same bright white tacky-silver-swirl-adorned too short too ugly gross sheer curtains and it suddenly dawns on you that you should really swap those things out asap?

Yeah.  That’s me.

And when I say that our curtains are too short, I’m not exaggerating:

Curtains that are way too short

Yep.  We have flood-ready curtains.  And no baseboards in our dining room (for some unknown reason.)  (But that’s a completely different story for a completely different day.)  And this picture is obviously from the day we moved in (I promise!  Our house is now fully furnished.  We’re not extreme minimalists!)  But just look.  Look at those curtains!  I’m not an interior decorator, but I’m pretty sure I speak somewhat accurately and knowledgeably when I say: that’s not how you hang curtains.


In our little 1940s home (oh, how I miss our little 1940s home!) we hung Ikea’s Ritva curtains in the front window.  And they looked lovely (and apparently lulled a very cute orange cat – who we miss very much – to sleep on our sofa the day I took this picture.)

Ikea Ritva curtains in my BM Edgecomb Gray living room

My only criticism of those Ritva curtains?  They were wrinkly.  Like, mucho messy wrinkly.  They were definitely not wash-and-wear sorta curtains.  Nope!  A whole lot of ironing went into making sure that anxiety-inducing wrinkly-frumpiness was kept at bay.

So is pulling out my iron each time I wash my Ritvas a deal breaker?  I really really do hate ironing.  A lot.  A whole lot.  But, as much as I hate ironing, I do truly love Ritva.  The curtains have a linen-y texture that makes them seem far more expensive than they really are (since Ikea drapes are as delightfully cheap as they are cheerful.)  And Ikea’s long-length curtain panels will definitely be appreciated in this old mauve house, since our dining room ceiling height is quite high (Sweetie says 9-ish feet, but it seems way higher to me.)

Oh Ritva, you sneaky devil.  You really do have a hold on me.  You may be once again forcing me to dust off my iron.  But you’re worth it.

Queue forthcoming curtain-collecting Ikea trip.  Woo!  I heart Ikea.  :)


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Flying saucers, mushroom caps, a flowery bonanza and stars (the search for noggin-safe illumination)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in Living Room | 0 comments

So I’ve officially decided that the awful too-low-to-be-noggin-safe and generally far-too-heavy-and-awkward-looking living room light has to go.  Soon.  Really really soon.  Just to give you a quick reminder, here’s the beast I’m referring to…

Green living room with faux fireplace and chandelier

I know: it’s not terrible.  And, truth be told, it’d likely look absolutely lovely in somebody else’s home!  But it’s just not me.  And Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of it (which probably means it’s definitely just not him, either.)

I’ve been struggling for the past couple of weeks with what to put in its place.  Its replacement can’t be a flush mount fixture – there’s a really pretty ceiling medallion that surrounds the light, so something flush would look sorta silly.  But I also haven’t yet found a semi-flush mount light that I love.

Which means I’ve been looking at pendant lights.

Sounds counter-intuitive, I know.  Sweetie keeps whacking his head off of our living room light, so I’m considering purchasing a pendant?  What?  But many pendants can be pretty easily shortened to create semi-flush mount fixtures.  Which is what I did in our bedroom at our little 1940s house.  And that’s likely what I’ll do here!

Here are the lights that I’m considering so far…

This one (from Uberhaus at Rona) is sorta flying saucer shaped, but in a rather lovely, rustic kind of way.  (Can a flying saucer be rustic?  I say yes!)  And it’s the least expensive of the bunch (only $44!)  And I think it’s pretty.  :)

Rustic brown jute or wicker round pendant light

And then there’s the similarly natural-looking (but way less alien vessel-shaped) Boja pendant from Ikea

Boja beachy-looking ratan pendant from IKEA

At $79, she’s a bit more pricey than the Uberhaus option, but I rather like her mushroom-cap shape (despite that I hate mushrooms) (mushrooms are squishy) (although I rather doubt that this pendant is squishy.)

Winning the “Prettiest pendant in consideration” award (if I was having a pretty-pendant competition) is this one from Home Depot

Pretty feminine white flowered drum shade pendant light from Home Depot

Oh swoon…  How pretty!  How sweet!  How… um, feminine…  Yeah, I don’t know if Sweetie will go for it.  But I love this light nonetheless.  (Although it’s on the high end of our budget at $149.98.)  (Plus tax.)  (Of course.)

The winner, however, might be this one (from Hampton Bay’s Moravian Star Collection)…

Glass star pendant light moravian star

Yes, it’s predictable – stars.  I love stars.  At least this means I’m consistent?  And I couldn’t help but be inspired by Young House Love’s entryway pendant

Young House Love's amazing teal doorway and star pendant

Lovely!  And I think a star pendant could look equally amazing in our little living room.

Yep, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making the trek out to our nearest Home Depot store to take a closer look at (and maybe even – gasp! – purchase!) that super starry light this week.

Because Sweetie’s head can’t take too many more bruises.

And because I’m a bit of a sucker for a pretty little star light.  :)


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Faux fireplace fanaticism (four fabulous faux fireplaces to fluff)

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Living Room | 2 comments

At our next house (only FOUR MORE DAYS to go before it’s all ours btw!) (insert happy squeal HERE) we’ll have not one, not two, not even three, but four (yes, FOUR) faux fireplaces to style.  Yep.  That’s right.  The nutcases nice folk who currently live in this house really really like their fireplaces.  To an excess, some (including myself) might say.  There’s one in the living room.  There’s another in the (adjoining) dining room.  There’s a fireplace in the sunroom out back.  And yep – for faux curling up on blustery winter’s nights, there’s even a faux fireplace in what will likely be our guestroom.

It’s a little (er, a lot) much.

There’s a pretty good chance that at least one of the fireplaces will eventually be moving out of our old mauve house.  Hell, we may even get rid of two.  Because, really, who needs SEVERAL (non-functioning) fireplaces in a (well-heated via furnace) home?  Not us, says I!

The big problem with having so many fireplaces?  Having to decorate so many fireplaces.  Mantel primping is an artform.  An artform that one can either excel at, or go mad attempting to perfect.  There’s the necessary accumulation of decorative items needed to adorn the mantels – decorating four mantels will indeed require a lot of stuff.  Then there’s the seasonal-decorating dilemma (fantastically fall-er-izing four faux fireplaces could be a rather time consuming project.)  And, most importantly, there’s the fireplace overkill factor.  One faux fireplace in a rather small little three-bedroom home?  Awesome!  Two fireplaces?  Wow – lucky me!  But four fireplaces?  Four?  Really?  That’s a little much methinks.

Yep.  One or two must go.

However, all four fireplaces will likely stay firmly in place until we’ve lived in the house for a little bit, at least.  Which means I’ve gone on a Pinterest expedition to find inspiration for fireplace dressing (since the acquisition of four fireplaces obviously requires a whole lot of inspiration.)  My favourites?

This chalkboard-adorned mantel idea from Mom4Real is pretty fantastic, and could easily be switched up for the seasons.

Chalkboard fireplace mantel with banner

I’m thinking it could be a lot of fun for the guestroom fireplace.  If the guestroom fireplace makes the final faux fireplace cut, that is.  :)

And how fun is this mantel from Wit and Whistle

Red brick fireplace with garland and zombie warning sign

The Danger Zombies sign?  That’s a whole lot of awesomeness.

And globes, maps and galoshes?  I love globes and maps and galoshes!

Maps and globes and galoshes fireplace mantel

This map-a-licious mantel is courtesy of the lovely folk over at Gather and Build.

However this one, from Style at Home, is my absolute fave.  Not necessarily because I like the fireplace (although I do!)  But because I’m obsessed with everything about this living room.  Love love love!

Gray white red teal living room with fireplace Style at Home

But, I’m guessing (just call it a hunch) that at least one of my four (FOUR!) fireplaces will end up looking a little like this…

White faux fireplace in Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray living room with basket inside

Yup.  Like our old faux fireplace.  Because I loved it.  And because I miss it.  LOTS.

So there you have it.  My Pinterest-derived fireplace mantel inspiration.  Because I need lots of inspiration.  Because I’ll be the proud owner of a lot of faux fireplaces very very shortly.  In a mere four days, in fact.

Can’t wait.  :)


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